Trail gaps pose as major obstruction for cycle tourism

Published on : Thursday, October 11, 2018

indexThe prospect in terms of bicycle tourism in the South Okanagan is massive, but one major obstruction has stopped this region from succeeding so far – be short of connectivity.

That’s the viewpoint of few proponents like Don Gemmell, president of a small advocacy group called the Trail of the Okanagans.

Regionally, the biggest gap is around Vaseux Lake, however smaller gaps are also hindering cycle tourism that has become so popular elsewhere.

Bit by bit, Osoyoos has been developing its network of cycling and hiking trails, paving and adding lighting on the Canal Pathway lately, a trail extending along the West Bench from Osoyoos Secondary School to north of the airport.

At present, trails for cycling and walking follow much of the shoreline of the town. However, the fragments remain incoherent, compelling cyclists and pedestrians to travel in busy traffic.

A major challenge is improper connectivity to the International Hike and Bike Trail, which expands from the top of Osoyoos Lake, past vineyards and orchards, through Oliver and to the north of that town.

Still it’s tough to cycle between Osoyoos and Oliver without riding a minimum of the way on busy Highway 97.

Nevertheless, Gemmell who lives in Summerland and is conceited of the trail network that passes his community emphasized the connectivity problem – the gap at Vaseux Lake.

In much of the Okanagan, empty railway tracks have been turned into cycling and hiking trails, particularly along the old remnants of the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR).

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